If That Call Phone Rings One More Time… Amadioha…

It had been a long week.

I hurriedly microwaved the goat meat leftover from the day before. I could smell the spoilage in it but I was adamant. As I gobbled it down, I could almost taste the microbial organisms already growing on it despite refrigeration.

I hurriedly chased down the organisms with two tablets of flagyl, praying that they were fast in catching up. Maybe I should have taken the tablets first so that they would be to the microbes what John the Baptist was to Jesus.

I looked at my laundry basket; overflowing. I once thought the solution was more clothes but it’s like those guys just decided that the more they were in the laundry basket, the merrier it got. Definitely not for me.

I looked at my pile of used plates; towering. It was odd, I could not remember when last I cooked but I had been trying to stay euglycemic somehow. Maybe the plates just got themselves dirty to make me happy or make me believe I was doing something right.

I needed sleep. The past seven nights had me sleeping like this…

… Waiting for calls from nurses or orderlies calling me for genuine emergencies and emergencies that involved ‘cough in a known TB patient’ ?.

At least the call was over now and I could rest.

Or so I thought.

Remember that in this field, it is criminal to not be reachable on phone, it is criminal to not pick your calls, it is criminal to pick and not be running ASAP. Even if you are dead on your feet.

I don’t think I had blinked twice in my dream when the intense vibration from my phone woke me up.


Why? Why do these calls choose to come in at ungodly hours? Barely two hours after you drift off and start enjoying the sleep. And not morning enough to flow with the ‘normal’ activities of the day. Why?

So, being a caring doctor who cared for others except herself, I stepped out…

I half walked, half stumbled into whatever trap the Nigerian health sector had laid for me this time.

“Ehen, doctor, we have been looking for you since morning…”

Which morning is since? Which morning? Please, please, please, shift.

But I smile, and ask which patient they called me for.

“Ehn, the STOC (surgery team on call) needs to…”

Wait… Am I on call? I thought my unit call ended yesterday. I thought these people were calling me because of our patient. Is this a bad dream?

“Sister, you mean you were looking for STOC? How did you get my number? In fact, don’t answer that.”

I start walking away.

“Doctor, doctor…”

… E go be.

Only alive people get to doctor.


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